Monday, December 31, 2007

The Year in Review

We mark 22 years living in the house and get our third fence and first new windows. I can see clearly into the side yard for the first time in fifteen years. By modern standards, that's a long time to live anywhere. Ro has lived here all her life, Miggs can't remember living anywhere else.

I visit IKEA for the first time, and immediately make plans to sell the house, all the furniture and go live in an adorable little vignette filled with inexpensive mass-produced home products. In the course of a year, we will buy eight bookcases, one storage unit, a bedside table, a chair, a worktable, a queen-size comforter, curtains, a wooden doll bed and numerous kitchen items from them.

We celebrate Dad's 80th birthday in April with a big party in Austin.

The two red tabby brothers, Silk and Shakespeare, aka "Get down!" and "Stop that!" come to live with us, having worn out their welcome at Migg's.

I attend an audition at The Local Community Theater, mention "It says here that you could use a costumer" and wind up doing three productions from April to December. In the course of which I learn many interesting and useful things, about theater and self.

In February, Nini turns five. In August, she starts all-day kindergarten. We are not impressed with what turns out to be government funded day care.

In June, Bubs is one. In July, he learns to walk and, his father's son, embarks on a course of self-destruction, caused by fearlessness and clumsiness in equal parts. He develops the biggest vocabulary I have ever seen for a toddler boy and I'm not just prejudiced because I'm his mimi.

Brother introduces us to his new girlfriend, who is also his boss, so we have to keep this on the down low. She instantly clicks with the family and spends Thanksgiving and Christmas with us.

My little Ford is totaled in an August car wreck, which focuses my concentration on some issues and completely prunes others out of my life. Having it absolutely impressed upon you that you are, indeed, going to die someday makes a difference.

The two of us take an extended vacation in October in my new car. We have many good times, and see a lot of pretty country, but also remember why we don't take extended vacations together.

Bob makes retirement plans for early next year.

Ro, after much soul-searching, decides to take next semester off and work. Miggs, ditto, decides to apply to grad school.

I get to meet a Raccoon, the fabulous MizzE. And her wonderful sister.

The Y's add Romo, the puppy, to the household. After Christmas, they announce that they are moving to Arizona ASAP to help his mom care for his dad, who has ALS. I take a day off to mope, but helped by this, come to grips with the situation and prepare to help pack.

And that's about it for 2007.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

The Enchanted Forest
and how it grew...
When I was a very small girl, my grandfather used to take me to the Christmas display at one of the downtown department stores in Fort Worth. This was so elaborate that you actually rode an amusement park mini-train around a circular track, with dioramas and panoramas and general Christmasiness on either side. In reality, it was probably cheesy and glitzy in the way of most 1950's department store decor, but to a little kid it was an enchanting fantasy.

Fast forward almost fifty years...
This began with an innocent purchase: a set of that trio of artificial trees from the Home Depot. I set them up on one of our folding tables and hung a few of the mushroom bird ornaments among them and added some of the extra little trees from the creche (which is a story for another day). For a natural touch,
I scattered some enormous acorns on the green cloth base. My tiny Steiff bear and Bob's resin troll, a gift from a fantasy fan co-worker, were the other inhabitants. And that was all, at first.

This project must have struck some deep childhood chord, a memory of delight. Because the next year, I bought another set of trees at Jo-Ann's, pre-lighted this time, and several bags of those miniature, glittery, jewel-tone fruits: pears, apples, and pomegranates in gold and red and green. Through the year, I'd been collecting any little birds that I thought would fit, as well.

I mixed the lighted trees with the plain trees, hung them with fruit and clamped on the birds, which were now an ornithologist's delight. Besides the ubiquitous mushroom bluebirds, there were an owl, a mallard duck, a hen, a dove and a pheasant with a long tail. And the bear and the troll and the acorns.

There was some slight criticism.
"You've got fruit on pine trees. In winter."
"Well, it's an enchanted forest, you see."
"Mallards don't roost in trees."
"Yes, they do, if it's enchanted."
"So, the bear is, what? Fifteen feet tall?"
"Scale doesn't count here. It's enchanted."

And it was, with the room darkened and the trees lighted, reflecting off the jewel-like surfaces of the fruit.

The next year, which was also the year Nini and I made beeswax candles, Father Christmas made his debut. His face and hands are modeled of beeswax, like German nativity figures, and painted. At least, his face is- his hands missed that for some reason and remain a ghostly white, wrapped around his twig walking staff. He has hair and a beard and fine bushy colonial mustaches of wool roving and a stern, yet kind, expression. His robe is olive green suedecloth trimmed with braid and he wears a hooded cape knit of some leftover Homespun in a red, purple and gold mix, to blend with the fruits. The troll, depending on whim, either meets him on his way, or walks ahead as his little helper.

For the last two years, Nini has been my official assistant in setting this all up.
We consult, or we debate, or we both act like five-years olds and argue, about every detail. Do we like the tree placement? Which should be the apple tree? Which should be the pear tree? Do we want one tree to be all white doves (this year's addition)? Do we want the resin elf sitting in a tree or sitting on a log? Shall we move the knitted sheep to the Christmas tree? Yes. How about letting the two cardinals sit under one of the littlest trees, as if they're looking for food? Spread out the insects (rescued from a bridal shower project) or make a bug tree? You know what we need? An angel! Wouldn't that be great? Up high on the big tree, like a guardian for the forest.

And so it evolves, little by little. When it's finished and the lights are turned on, it's a small, magical world of its own, where anything can happen. Where you can recall a cherished memory for yourself and create a new one for the dearly loved. Where fruit can grow on conifers and the bear can lie down with the fawn. Because it's enchanted. Because it's Christmas.

Monday, December 10, 2007

My Advent Treat

So, I'm wandering through the Kroger's late Saturday afternoon, picking up a few things to go with That Beef Thing That Jake Likes, simmering at home in the crockpot. I'm grinning so that I'm scaring people a little. They're sidling away down the aisle: 'That lady is just a trifletoo happy."
And why is this, you ask?
Because I'd just met my wonderful blog-friend MizzE for the first time face to face. She (and her equally wonderful Sister) graciously added a trip to the community theater to see the show, while on a visit in the area.
What a joy. I had greenroom duty again, and was counting down the minutes: first act over, intermission over, second act half-way over, Charlotte's dead, baby spiders hatching, final speech, curtain calls, and scene! Then I was off to the lobby.
We recognized each other instantly, and had a lovely half-hour's chat. She took a few photos, which are up at her site.
So, if you haven't followed the link already, go and meet this wise, gracious and lovely lady yourself. She expresses herself much better than I could ever describe her.

Monday, November 26, 2007

"Sew, old one! Sew like the wind!"

Crunch week, no time to post. Hope everyone had a lovely Thanksgiving. We did.

My brother may regret frying that first turkey. It was hugely popular and may have to become a regular, and grossly expensive, addition to the meal.

The third generation is growing up like fast forward. Little girls are beautiful young women, the boys are heading towards, or topping, six feet, some of them can legally drive. Makes me wish my mom were still with us, so she could see them.

And Mr. Bubs, the beau of the ball again. The hub-bub made him clingy at first- he wouldn't even come to his Mimi, but after a while he warmed up and ran around outside, with K's fiancee as wrangler. "Good baby training" said Sissy to K's mom. "Anything we can do!" said K's mom. Bubs has inherited his Aunt Migg's fear of taxidermy: the big mounted deer head was as good as a baby gate at keeping him off the stairs.

Brother brought Rachel and Miggs brought Plum. Both were big hits and I think they had a good time. Plum brought a pecan pie. Rachel had baked an apple-cranberry with crumb topping, but forgot it. I think she was a little nervous, but she needn't have been.

Miggs presented her grandfather with his 80th birthday present, a beautiful hand-knitted afghan. She had an original false start that she passed on to me -acrylics shall not sully her hand- and began again with a baby alpaca that was so expensive that she had to wait for every payday to buy a new skein. Which is why his April b-day was being gifted in November. He was delighted: "This really took a lot of thought and work, Miggs." Which for him is like another man's standing ovation.

We were having a girly re-hash of the previous night's Project Runway, when my youngest brother said "That's it- we're critiquing the pies. Now, this pumpkin- I do not think that you challenged yourself very much with this. Next time, I want to see more creativity. And this chess pie- do you feel that you acheived your vision of it? Let's talk about your workmanship on this pecan- this crust can stand a lot of improvement."

Good times...

Monday, November 19, 2007


Ro and I both went to “How to Succeed” on Saturday night. She met up with six or seven of her alumni friends, and sat just above the walk-through with them. I was several rows up behind them.

Delightful production, acting-wise. The lead is very polished, and her old reliables are giving good solid performances. Several of the kids have improved greatly since last year. The young man with the wonderful voice who, in Les Mis, was instructed to ‘stand behind this barrel and don’t move”, has graduated to a real supporting role with funny bits of business. You can tell that the dance teacher labored long and hard to achieve the level of choreography this year. It’s all going very well.

First act ends, second act begins. Here comes the scene which introduces the pirates and the Treasure Hunt Give-away. But what is this pink and black one-shoulder dress she’s wearing? Where is her pirate costume? The next scene is the TV show. Everyone else is in black and pink, as well, with primary colored boas on their hats, which looks distinctly odd. What happened to all that multi-colored crepeback satin? I could literally hear the thought waves rising from Ro, rows in front: “What the hell? WHERE ARE OUR PIRATES?”

Finale, curtain calls, standing O, lights out. Ro and I collide in the walk-through.
“What happened? What was that they were wearing?”
“I have no idea! What do you think went wrong? Can you go find out?
(Because you can’t approach a director surrounded by happy congratulatory parents and old students and ask awkward questions, when there may be a simple explanation.)
“I’ll go backstage and ask Mrs. ______ and tell you when I get home.”
“Thank you! Oh, and Ro- be cool.”

An hour or so later she arrives with the skinny: the costumes were fine, fit great, looked cute, but when worn under the spotlight they used for that scene, they were too shiny, bright and distracting. They borrowed some outfits from the drill team instead. IOW, they “went another direction.”
Whew- their mistake, not mine. What a relief after awful speculation.
These things happen, and you have to do what works best for the production.
And I still get paid...

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Update: Mad Monkey Cuteness

Friday was the Halloween carnival at Nini's school and Bubs was the beau of the ball, reports Sissy. People were dragging their friends in from other parts of the building to see him.

A dad asked if it was alright to take his picture for the yearbook. "I know I'm a guy, "he said " but this is the cutest thing I've ever seen."

Alas for Ni's butterfly wings that had been appliqued and quilted and be-sequinned! Not enough stiffener or something, so they flopped around too much. Sunday, we did a quick Google for an alternative involving the black tunic and decided: "Ladybug!" Yesterday I swept by the Hobby Lobby for new supplies and sewed the little round red and black wing case for her back and I must say it is darling and she will be cute as puddin' pie. Good save, Mimi!

Oh, and FYI, trick or treaters: if you actually say "Trick or Treat!" winningly, and then thank the nice parent, you will get more treats. Just hold your bag out silently demanding and there will possibly be one Hershey's kiss for you.

It's called quid pro quo and it will come in handy someday.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Pretty Much Unbearable Mad Monkey Cuteness

LOOK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! he's so ADORABLE!!!! thank you thank you thank you! have a fun trip! -@
Why, yes, I am the best Mimi in the whole world...

Monday, October 15, 2007

Bubs in Love

Well, you let the boy out into the big world and he falls for the first pretty face he sees.
Yes, Bubbins is completely infatuated with Miss Amy, his Baby School teacher.
He’s so crazy about her that he won’t wait for the green-light “GO” signal before haring off down the hall in a Frankenstein gallop to throw himself at her knees.
When she takes one of the other kids into the changing alcove, he sits beside the baby gate going “Hi?… Hi?… Hi?” until she returns.
He blows her kisses all the way out of the building.
And while there's no real future for this January-September pair, all the other women in his life are really jealous.

Monday, September 24, 2007

This morning, before she dropped by the
house to check her eBay, Sissy went to the doctor's to have the stitches taken out of the finger she slashed opening a package last week. Bubs didn't think much of this strange man holding 'his woman's' hand and was very protective, hanging on her shoulder, urging "Bye-bye. Bye-bye. Go!"
The doc finished re-bandaging her finger and said "Okay, all done. Good-bye."
Bubby laid his palm to his lips and blew him a kiss.
"Oh, that's so sweet," said the doc.
"Ummm, I don't that means what you think it does," said Sis.

She was feeling much better after a bout of food poisoning -bad salsa- so bad that Jake took her to the emergency room late Saturday night. She had become so dehydrated so quickly that it was playing havoc with all systems. After they pumped her full of fluids and anti-nausea meds, they let her come home about 2:30. I went back home to catch a few hours sleep before returning at 6:00 so Jake could go to work.

The children and I had a lovely day: we went out for donuts and fast food breakfast, did some housework, read a little "Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle", played "Guess Who" and then "Babies", while Bub napped. Nini had a birthday party to go to that afternoon and rode with a friend from across the street. Little Man and I went for a walk in the stroller.

I switched out with Bob around three, so I could rest a minute and go to mass. But when I phoned on my way to church, there was intense baby distress in the background, so I went back to help feed and bathe Bubs and put him to bed. He'd had enough of people, even Mimi and G-daddy, who were not his Mom.

Brother was still at the house, doing his laundry, when we got back. I made a quick dinner and visited with him. I tried to stay up and watch the first episode of "The War", but gave up on staying awake.

I'm reading Mr. Norrell & Jonathan Strange, by Susanna Clarke. It's different than the blurb suggests. I was anticipating something darker: 'like Dr. Jekyl and Mr. Hyde', Bob said. My best description of what I've read so far is that it's a sort of Gothick Vanity Fair. I'm very taken with the footnotes; admiring her ability to write long scholarly notes on entirely invented bodies of work. In this, it recalls Byatt's Possession. Not the same volume and variety, of course, but still good.

The amount of overt moonbattery on display last week and this one would be even more depressing and worrisome without Gagdad Bob's series on the Unconscious, Symmetrical Logic and the Left over at One Cosmos. As 2008 draws closer, I'm feeling a dull sense of dread about the whole year of madness we'll have to navigate. I've paid close attention to the last nine presidential campaigns. I do not think it's my imagination that they've increased in venom and craziness over the last 16 years or so.

Monday, August 06, 2007

Gobsmacked, double plus ungood
I am driving along on my way to Mass at the monastery, preparing to exit from the interstate onto a smaller highway when
A car smashes into the driver’s side of my car, blasting out the window and pushing me onto the shoulder and into the guardrail, from which we both ricochet across three lanes of traffic to end on the opposite service road: she, smashed into the guard rail; me, pulled to a stop facing north about 20 feet away.
Two drivers stop immediately and rush to the other car. I take inventory: I’m alive, nothing hurts, the engine is not smoking. I have automatically brushed some broken glass out of my hair, and have some tiny cuts on my fingers- nothing that a Kleenex won't take care of. I realize that my glasses have been knocked off in the proceedings- a Catch-22 that the desperately near-sighted will appreciate. I’m afraid to move too many things about to look for them, because of the glass scattered across the front seat. Moving very cautiously, I find them on the passenger’s side floor and put them on.
After that, things move in an orderly fashion. One of the helpful drivers assists me out of the car, through the passenger door- mine is fused shut. I phone home- after thirty years, my husband knows that any call that begins “Now, I don’t want you to get upset…” is bad news, but I assure him that I‘m fine and he doesn’t need to rush down. The EMT’s arrive and load the other driver, who they think will be alright, into the ambulance. They give me a cursory checkover and an officer and I determine that my car is driveable. While I wait for the interviewing policeman, I pick the remaining shards of glass out of the window, putting them in a produce bag I happened to have . Picked up two at once at the store and stuffed the second in my bag, for some reason. Random, but useful in the end.
After the police get their information and I’m cleared to leave, I glance at the clock. It’s only 9:09. The whole episode has only taken about half an hour.
I phone home again and tell them that since it’s still early, I’ve decided to go on to Mass. No one thinks this is a very good idea, but I’m determined, though somewhat shaky. By the time I drive to the monastery, walk up the hill and into the abbey, splash some water on my face and throw away my ruined stockings, they are almost done with the consecration. Must have been some short readings and a sketchy little sermon this morning. And while gratitude is my first emotion, because I am deeply thankful to be alive and whole- my second thought is surprising: it wouldn’t have been a bad day to die.
I’ve puzzled over why that was in the following day, and I can only conclude that the spiritual masters are right- if you work at being ready to go, while living as fully as you can at the same time, you just might be.
So, glad to be here, safe and sound. Grateful for the life illustration. Carrying on.

Thursday, August 02, 2007


I got a sucker, I got a sucker, I got a sucker, hey, hey, hey, hey.
Got Bubbins for the morning on Monday. I was warned that I'd only have time to pick up the basics, as his grocery attention span was short. But he was perfectly good- we discussed eggs and milk and English muffins and he told me a long, involved story about...something. Kitty food, maybe.
But in the produce section, he began to struggle to get out of the cart and reach the kiwis.
Now, I know he has no personal experience with kiwis, other than tasting them at Nana Gigi's, so I couldn't see what the uproar was about.
'What, baby?" I asked.
He gave me his trademarked "you silly woman" look: "Baw!, Baw!"
Well, duh.
He was in ball heaven, while I picked up some romaine and nectarines.
And I bought him a green plastic one, for being a genius.

Balls are a big deal around here.
He played nicely by himself while I unpacked the groceries and put a stew in the crock pot and did some laundry. Then he helped me go through a big plastic bin of fabric and craft miscellany: I gave him interesting scraps to look at and he took everything out of the bedside table drawers.
We had only one serious disagreement- he thought he should move the Ott light around and I thought he shouldn't, since if it fell on him it could smush him. He was removed to think it over.
He ate his lunch, but refused to take a nap- no corral- so he had to go home to sleep, so he wouldn be crazy when they met up with the AZ grandparents later.He really is excellent company, for someone barely a year old.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Something familiar, something peculiar
Thursday: Final Dress Rehearsal
Nini loved dress rehearsal- the set, the costumes, the singing and dancing- though she understood very little of the plot. It was delightful when she got the joke of "Maid": that they just kept adding one more guy to the line, until all four were singing.
She has something of a little crush on Dr. Mike, who plays Miles Gloriosus, who is dazzling handsome in his gold armor. After seeing that night, I decided not to add any black up around the shoulders. "The light reflecting off your breastplate is really effective. It gives you kind of a god-like glow." He was all for that.
Bob came to pick her up, so Sis didn't have to load up a sleeping Bubs. I demanded that since he's not coming to see the show, he had to at least see the set. He said she was asleep in mid-sentence by the time they were half-way home.
I had brought along the latest and, I swore to him, final incarnation of Hysterium's costume. He now has a shirt under a tunic, like Pseudolus and his sleeve tassels got a special mention, which was nice. I had Pseudolus's with me, but didn't have a chance to attach them til opening night.
We're having lipstick issues with Hysterium's imposture of a dead virgin. Our AD ran out to the CVS to pick up some non-smear variety- not the 16-hr type. He did have to go to work on Friday without moist raspberry lips. It worked slightly better, especially once we realized that he needed to be reminded to blot. Something that he doesn't do instinctively, because he's, oh, not a girl.
Our best solution is two veils and constant laundering.
Added bands at the hem and sleeves of the "tunic with the tassels" and re-hemmed and trimmed Philia's overdress. But some things just didn't get done: couldn't figure out how to add the new fabric to Erronius and Lycus didn't get gold around the hem. These things happen.
(to be continued)

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Forum, again

If you arrive on Picture Night to discover that you've taken in the lead's costume so much that he's stuffed into like a bolster, the evening can only improve.

And, when you find that there's no way to let it out so that it looks good and you must start over from scratch, using some random turquoise fabric you just happened to have picked up for no good reason and some $2 a yard matching material from the Wal-mart, you can call it a "happy accident". Especially when it's going to look much better than the original. For which, the director and crew will forgive you for giving a problematic principal something else to be pissy about, along with his bizarre unauthorized prop introductions being vetoed and nobody getting the dance right in "Maid". I am sorry for the bother and anxiety to him, though. So he's getting tassels.
Of course, now I have to re-dye his and Hysterium's leggings. It's a domino thing.

Our little Philia, 17, is the wonderful surprise of the cast. She has a surprising comedic bent, to be so young. The goofy self-satisfaction she brings to a line like: 'I cost five hundred minae." or "I would show you mine, but they are sold" is priceless.
She comes in to visit with me occasionally while I sew. Last time, she told me that our Hero had announced his choice of underpinnings to her:
"He said, 'I think I'll just wear a dance belt' and I was thinking, like "Ewww, eww! Don't tell me that! I have to sit on your lap and now I don't want to! TMI! TMI' "

Miles's excessive goldness has been toned down with a black leather (vinyl, really) skirt. I lined the panels with felt to give it some heft. It has antique bronze conchos from the bead department at Hobby Lobby on it for decor. It is fabulous, if I do say so. Sometimes I surprise myself. But now he needs some black on top.

Time to check on the blueness of pants.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

This year...
Every time you would reach a new milestone

we would whisper in your ear "Oh, Bubbins, don't be big. Be little.

Be little forever."

But you didn't mind very well

And we didn't really mean it, anyway.

Happy Birthday!
We love you so much.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

How I Spent My Saturday
Got up and put on my painting clothes, as I was going to TC to finish cleaning out the costume supply closet and help make sets.
Detoured by a call from Sis- could I baby-sit if she ran up right then to get her hair cut?
She returned in about fifteen minutes; they were jam-packed, so she made an appointment for later in the day.
Off to TC with my enormous Sonic iced tea. The regulars were already hard at work, stirring paint, unscrewing old platforms, consulting the painting schema and the mock-up of the set, which incorporates the whole theater - turning it into a Roman street.
I returned the random items from the closet to the prop and costume rooms. I can understand some of the things I found while organizing: five pair of tights and a couple of wigs make sense. But a doorknob? A bicycle lock? D batteries? It looks lovely now, I must say - all ready for the assault from “Forum”.
About whose costumes I’d had an e-mail from the director on Friday. Who hadn’t heard that we already had designs in the works from Sandy’s daughter. Though of course, I’d been designing in my head - costumers are incorrigible.
So, I’d produced a few sketches for my own fun, based on Pete’s plan of color-coding the cast by households. I used the figure drawing cheat sheets from the Threads magazine site - anathema, I know and a very bad habit. I’m looking forward to seeing the other designs and getting to work, once the show is cast.
Painted theater walls ‘til two, and made myself a set colors sampler on a paper plate for future reference. Returned home to find Ro and D. burning the DVD of the slide-show for the Theater/Speech Banquet, which she‘d helped edit. The B-Films touch: she’d combined three versions of “How Ross stole a stop sign (in front of an off-duty cop)” by intercutting between the narrators to produce a very funny four minute montage. Not up to the standards of the two previous years, which she did on her own.
But D. appreciated the help.
Took Sis a shirt box for her present for the lingerie shower they’re throwing for another D. This is a surprise and has taken only slightly less planning and maneuvering than the moon landing. The card she made to go with the gift is a masterpiece: bikinis and a teddy in patterned pink and vellum with chocolate scalloped lace. She is a paper genius.
Came home and blogged a bit, then picked up some money and got some dinner to take to baby-sit. Garlic bread and a garden salad from Goodfellas, which replaced the terrible restaurant that had been there.
At the Y’s, Bubs was in his chair, shoveling Goldfish in with both fists. I took him down so he could demonstrate standing up, which I hadn’t seen yet. And he can do it! Yay, Bubbins! Next - learning to go down the step into the living room, instead of sitting there and faking heartbreak until somebody picks him up and moves him,
I shared my garlic bread with Nini and she had some Subway that Jake brought home, as well. Then she joined Bubs in the tub, where he was soaking his red bottom - the result of Baby Boot Camp and not getting up at five a.m. One of those dreadful Mom dilemmas - change him and wake him up or let him fuss himself back to sleep, but chap his tushy?
After his tub, we had some hair-dryer therapy on the booty - it’s like baby spa. Then bed, firmly instructed by his sister.
Who was waiting to play Pet Shop. Now, when Ro was small, Pet Shop Pets actually resembled everyday animals. Now they’re the Keane paintings of the plastic toy world. We suspect the popularity of Bratz has something- bad- to do with this.
Our game tonight was not the usual Talent Show, but first a Spelling Bee, and then a Mathlon. One of the pups won the Bee and the Dog team, including the gecko, clobbered the Cat team, including the inchworm.
She declined a bedtime story and we discovered that “Ball of Fire” was the TCM Essentials film that night, so we watched that, off and on, while playing an abridged version of “Twenty Questions”, until I finally made her shut up so I could hear the Professors’s marital advice to Gary Cooper. You know, the plot to that movie is really quite complicated, especially if you’re explaining it to a five year old.
When that ended, we wound up in Mom and Dad’s bed, to watch “Guys and Dolls”. She was asleep before “I Got the Horse Right Here” was over.
This morning, Sis called to asked “Just exactly what movie did ya’ll watch last night?”
“Howard Hawks’ ‘Ball of Fire’ - Gary Cooper and Barbara Stanwyck.”
“Ohhh -- not the one about Jerry Lee Lewis, then?”
“Sissy, please. I do have some judgment.”
We have these conversations a lot about Ni’s version of events.
The Y’s got home at 1:15. Sis reported that the panty party was a great success. D. was completely surprised and very touched. The hi-jinks were enhanced by their waiter, who insisted on inspecting the gifts and choosing the order in which they should appear on the honeymoon.
“ This outfit - this leopard print teddy - this is very ‘Rrrowwww!” This you should save for maybe Day Three.”
Home to give the boys a midnight snack and so to bed.

Monday, April 30, 2007

"A Little Fall of Rain"

Picked up a copy of Robertson Davies’s Happy Alchemy in the Theater section at Half-Price Books and am trying to sip, not gulp; as it is very good and I would like the pleasure of reading it to last as long as possible.

In the chapters on melodrama and opera, which is just melodrama raised to its highest level - he explains something that has puzzled me since Les Mis. This was : why did I cry every single performance over the death of Eponine?

I wasn’t in the grip of theatrical illusion - just the opposite. Working backstage, I’d just been adjusting Marius’s sash and tucking in his shirt - again-; two hours earlier, I’d been wrestling Eponine’s recalcitrant Asian hair into witchlocks with the curling iron. I’d made half the clothes they stood up in, and that included the false shirt front the prop kids had sprayed with “blood”.
And yet every night, I was wiping my eyes.

It’s the combination of words and music, Mr. Davies explained - which is the original meaning of the term “melodrama”. This is how two nice suburban kids can make you cry because her life was so hard and he didn’t love her and didn’t even realize she loved him until it was too late and she had sacrificed herself to make him happy with another woman and it’s just SO SAD.